“You should never support any ideology – any philosophy that goads a man into the path of animality. Yours is the path of spirituality. When you have been blessed with a human body, be cent percent human, and go on decreasing your distance from the Supreme Consciousness. And finally, be one with Him.”
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
Tantric cosmology Brahmacakra: The Circle of Creation:
In all civilizations people have tried to explain the origin of the universe in one way or another. In each cultural group one can find some mythology in which the story of creation is explained. Most of these stories do not match what modern science says about this subject. In Ananda Marga philosophy the theory of creation is not only in accord with the views modern science, but also serves as a guide for scientists seeking answers yet unresolved.
This Tantric theory of creation is not only scientific, but also deeply spiritual. According to Ananda Marga Infinite Consciousness is the source of everything. This Infinite Consciousness is considered the absolute principle and it is known as Brahma. The cycle of creation in which Brahma transforms itself into this manifested universe is known as Brahmacakra.
Brahma means “The entity which is infinite and has the ability to make others infinite,” Brahma is composed of consciousness and energy. In Sanskrit, consciousness is known as Purusa and energy as Prakrti (another name for Consciousness is Shiva and for energy, Shakti). Although we can say that Brahma is composed of consciousness and energy, it should be emphasized that Brahma is a singular entity, its two parts are the like two sides of a piece of paper, they can never be separated. Consciousness never exists independently from the cosmic energy.
What exactly is Consciousness? Purusa or Consciousness can be defined according to the different functions it performs. First of all Consciousness plays the role of witness to all the events of this universe. It’s like a lamp in the ceiling of a room, many events going on in the room, but the lamp does not participate directly in the action. It provides light; it makes the events possible and “observes” all the activities. This is the “cognitive faculty.”
Another function of Consciousness (Purusa) is that it is the material cause of the universe, is the “raw material” from which everything is made. Scientists are always looking for the fundamental matter of the universe. For a while it was thought that the atom was the smallest particle, but recently they have been divided and subdivided the atom finding smaller particles. The search for the smallest particles seems endless. The Science of Yoga has long stated that the primary cause of all existence and the source of all material objects is nothing but pure consciousness.
Another way to describe Consciousness is by saying it is “efficient cause” of the universe and the fundamental entity controlling all actions in it. Consciousness is like an architect who has designed the entire Universe and acts to carry it out. But just as the architect cannot build without the help of others, Brahma also needs the help of Prakriti, the Operative Principle, to do carry out its task.
Prakriti is the other aspect of Brahma, “the other side of the piece of paper” so to speak. In the cycle of creation the dominant and controlling role belongs to the Consciousness and the operative principle is considered to be a characteristic of Consciousness. It is the Consciousness which allows the Operative Principle to work. If the Consciousness does not give the Operative Principle a chance to act, then the Pure Consciousness remains without modification. In this condition the Consciousness is beyond human conception because it does not have attributes such as aroma, shape or colour. This state of pure consciousness is called Nirguna Brahma.
If the operative principle has the opportunity to act, it works in three fundamental ways. This means that Prakrti creates differences in this world by modifying the original Pure Consciousness in three ways. These three fundamental styles of action are known as gunas in Sanskrit. This term literally means “binding quality” and derives from the idea that Prakrti is like a rope which modifies Consciousness by binding it.
When a particular guna is active there is a modification or control over Consciousness. The three gunas of prakrti are called sattva (sentient), rajah (mutative) and tamah (static).
Sattvaguna creates the most subtle modifications. It is responsible for the feeling of existence “I exist”. Rajahguna is responsible for the feeling “I do” and Tamah guna is responsible for the feeling “I have done.” Tamah guna works to materialize thoughts and is responsible for creating the solid elements that we observe in the universe.
What is the process by which Prakrti drives and begins to modify Consciousness thus creating Saguna Brahma (Brahma with qualities)? First we have to conceive a “previous” state to the creation of the universe. Here the Supreme Consciousness is unchanged. The three gunas of prakrti exist but do not act. If the three forces were represented as countless lines, the intersection of these lines forms countless polygons. This is a theoretical way to represent the state in which Consciousness is unmodified.
Figure 1: Matrix:
If we analyze the image we can see that most of the figures formed by the three forces are triangles. In these “triangles of force,” the three gunas are whirling around, transforming themselves one into the other. Purusa (Consciousness) is “trapped” inside this triangle. The formation of this triangle signals the beginning of the creation of the universe. Consciousness within the triangle is the core of the universe, Purusottama, and when the balance between the three forces breaks out of the triangle and modifies the Consciousness. This first modification of Consciousness is very subtle. The cosmic sense of pure existence is created and Consciousness becomes aware of itself. This “I exist” is called Mahattattva and the first portion of the Cosmic Mind. Following the first modification, the next force, rajah guna, becomes active and adds another quality to Consciousness. Action or thought “I do” arises in the pure consciousness and the second part of the Cosmic Mind or Ahamtattva is created. Finally, the third guna is active, the static force or tamah guna, and modifies the Consciousness in another way. This modification produces the feeling of “I have done” or objective reality and creates the third part of the Cosmic Mind which is known as Citta or mind stuff.